The Best Way to Do At-Home Yoga
Starting an at-home yoga practice is simple and easy. You don’t have to worry about any of the intimidation factors that might come along with heading to a new studio. Plus, Openfit has you covered when it comes to how and why to start an at-home yoga practice, like making your own schedule, not having to change out of your PJs, and really focusing on how you feel, not how you look.
Openfit has two yoga options to get you started: Yoga52 has five trainers offering on-demand 20- to 60-minute classes. Openfit Live Yoga has real-time classes led by a variety of trainers at a variety of convenient times.
There’s no wrong way to do yoga at home. The best way is the way that works for you and gets you on your mat. Read on to try out a beginner-level flow where all you need is your mat and some motivation.
Repeat the flow as many times as you’d like.
- Start on your hands and knees.
- Bring the inside edges of your feet together and move your knees out toward the edge of the mat to begin in child’s pose.
- Keep your hips and bottom heavy, sit on your feet, and reach your arms forward between your legs.
- Rest your torso between your thighs, and lower your forehead to the floor. Stretch your arms forward on the mat with your elbows elevated.
- Play around with moving both hands toward one corner of the mat for a side-body stretch, and then the other side.
- Hold for five to 10 breaths.
Cat and Cow Pose
- Slowly rise up from child’s pose and move toward a tabletop position with your knees and hands on the mat.
- Make sure your knees are underneath your hips and your hands are underneath your shoulders with fingers spread wide.
- Begin to arch your back to bring your tailbone up and drop your belly toward the floor; reach your head and chest open and upward for cow pose.
- After a few breaths, move in the opposite way by rounding your back up, tucking your tailbone down, and curling your chin toward your chest.
- Alternate between cat and cow pose for about a minute, until you feel them stretch out your spine and warm up your core.
- Shift back to a tabletop position. Put weight into your hands, with fingers spread apart, as you begin to lift your bottom up and back, and straighten your legs.
- Keep your palms shoulder-width distance apart and your heels hip-width distance apart. Keep your arms straight, but don’t lock your elbows.
- Hold for 10 breaths.
- Try variations of downward-facing dog, like three-legged downward facing dog to open up your hips, or wide-legged downward facing dog.
Standing Forward Fold
- From downward-facing dog, look toward the top of your mat and start to slowly walk your feet up to meet your hands for standing forward fold.
- With your knees slightly bent, fold your torso over your legs and aim to lengthen your spine down toward your feet.
- Bring your shoulders down, away from your ears, and engage your leg muscles. Lift your tailbone up toward the ceiling and shift your weight slightly forward on your feet so your hips align over your heels.
- As you breathe, move through a flat-back stretch as you lift your chest and torso up to extend out for a breath, and then fold back toward your legs.
- Depending on your flexibility, you might straighten your legs or move your hands closer to your feet and the mat.
- Hold for at least 10 breaths.
- Variations include a seated forward fold, or using blocks (or water bottles) underneath the hands.
- From forward fold, roll your torso up slowly to standing mountain pose.
- Begin with your big toes touching and heels slightly apart; your arms rest down along the sides of your torso with your palms facing front.
- Keep your weight balanced between all four corners of your feet and engage your legs and core.
- Draw the shoulder heads back and down.
- Hold for five to 10 breaths.
- For variations, move through standing side bends or cactus arms for an added stretch in the sides and upper body.
- After mountain pose, fold back down for standing forward fold for a few breaths.
- From there, plant your hands on the mat and walk or hop your feet back to a plank pose.
- In plank, keep your shoulders in line with your wrists and elbows; do not lock out your elbows.
- Place your feet about hips-width apart. Engage your legs and core to keep your hips from sagging or lifting up too high.
- Your body should create an even plane from your shoulders to your heels.
- Hold for 10 breaths to work your core.
Runner’s Lunge or Lizard Pose
- After plank pose, move through downward-facing dog and into runner’s lunge or lizard pose.
- From downward-facing dog, inhale your right leg high for three-legged dog.
- Exhale to step your right foot toward the outside of your right hand and shoulder.
- From here, you can keep your foot to the outside of your arm, or begin to move it to the inside of your arm and shoulder for a deeper stretch.
- Keep your shoulders stacked over your wrists or drop down to your elbows for a deeper stretch. Keep your back leg long and straight; drop down to your back knee for a passive stretch.
- Gaze down toward your mat and hold for 10 breaths.
- Move through downward-facing dog and repeat on the other side.
Wide-legged forward fold
- Move back to downward-facing dog and through mountain pose.
- From the top of your mat, turn sideways and separate your feet wider than hip distance .
- Set your feet parallel to the short edges of your mat (not turned in or out).
- Bring your arms out to a T-shape and hinge forward at your hips. Once your chest aligns with your hips, drop your hands straight down to the floor or your blocks. Keep your hips and butt in line with your legs rather than edging out backward.
- Hold for five to 10 breaths.
- For a twisting variation, place one palm flat on the mat or on a block directly beneath your head in the center.
- Bring the other arm up as you twist your torso open, but keep your hips centered rather than sliding out to the left or right.
- Repeat on the other side.
Corpse pose or savasana
- After the final pose, make your way onto the mat and lie down on your back for the relaxing savasana pose.
- Rest your arms on the mat, slightly away from your torso with your palms facing up and shoulders relaxed away from the ears.
- Separate youe legs so the heels move closer to the inside corners of your mat.
- Close your eyes, relax your jaw, and slow your breath down.
- Hold for at least a couple of minutes.